[SUMMARY: New test scores from the National Assessment of Educational Progress reveal that two-thirds of American youngsters are successfully illiterate. New policies–and new experts–are required.]
The new National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) figures show that only 35% of our younger students are “proficient” in reading, and only slightly a lot more are “proficient” in math.
That word suggests a low standard. In any case, these statistics are screaming the genuine news: roughly TWO-THIRDS of American ten-year olds are successfully illiterate and they can’t do much in math either. It really is the exact same story with 14-year-olds. (NAEP tests only fourth-graders and eighth-graders.)
But the weirdest part of this entire story is how our media report it. Ho-hum. Business as usual. Here’s the actual headline written by AP and repeated in scores of newspapers: “u.s. college scores show progress but ways to go.”
In truth, the scores show no progress and we have a thousand miles to go.
Our public schools are so bad that the majority of the youngsters in them are functionally illiterate, and do not seem to be enhancing. Even so, AP’s tone reassures us that there’s absolutely nothing uncommon right here, and no explanation for silly you to be upset. Just maintain paying your taxes so that our Education Establishment can go on carrying out the bang-up job they constantly do.
This weirdly detached and disconnected tone is, in fact, the true story.
We have a media so comfortably in bed with the Education Establishment that their reporting essentially consists of see no evil, hear no evil, say no evil. In brief, the mainstream media have abdicated their journalistic responsibilities just as the Education Establishment has abdicated its educational responsibilities. Yes, Tweedledum and Tweedledee do come to thoughts. Yes, this complete predicament is so intense and surreal that there are definite comic overtones, as when an army marches in the wrong path and surrenders to one of its own cooks.
But never ever overlook that these statistics apply to millions of young Americans. And this is your country going downhill.
Now, let us suppose that the AP and neighborhood papers around the country truly cared about this issue. They would be SCREAMING!!!! (Like the last time somebody dared to trespass on 1 of their pet prejudices.)
There would be huge scary headlines: Nation’s literacy crisis continues!!! Most young children unable to read something a lot more hard than “Cat in a Hat”!!! Public schools in state of disarray!! Nation’s leading educators evidently unqualified!!! President must declare schools in the nation’s capital a disaster location!!! Education scandal grows: never ever has so a lot funds been spent with so tiny benefits!!!
Bottom line, we have a media that won’t report and an Education Establishment that will not teach. Personally, I believe these individuals ought to be prickly with shame.
All the specialists I trust — Rudolf Flesch, Samuel Blumenfeld, Marva Collins, Mona McNee, Don Potter, Siegfried Engelmann, Sue Dickson, to name a few — are unanimous in insisting that virtually all young children, when effectively taught, discover to read in the very first grade. By the second grade they need to be reading what are called “chapter books.” Every of these authorities has personally taught hundreds (and in some instances, thousands) of youngsters to study. They all report a 99+% achievement price.
Meanwhile, our Education Establishment, by using a approach that does not perform, teaches less than half the children to read, prevents all but the most verbal little ones from becoming truly fluent readers, and condemns a lot more than one particular million young children to severe reading disabilities.
The method that does not function is variously referred to as Entire Word, Sight Words and a lot of other names that all imply the identical issue. Flesch explained in his famous “Why Johnny Cannot Read” bestseller why the strategy does not perform. Not a sentence of that book is less correct today than when it was written 55 years ago.
How can the Education Establishment continue to use failed suggestions, and then come ahead of us with their pathetic benefits? They — the emperor with no clothes — should be too embarrassed to appear in public.
How do they continue to get away with the charade? Easy. We let them.
Not all, of course. The main motive for most homeschooling is to teach kids to study appropriately. The principal purpose several parents sacrifice to send their children to private schools is to make certain they will be capable to study, do standard math, etc. Similarly, millions of concerned parents start off tutoring their youngsters at an early age, in the hope of countering the nonsense the young children will encounter later. This is a very good commence.
But what we actually require in this country is a protest movement. It may well be known as Occupy The Schools. This movement would focus on the clear: if a lot more than half of our students can not study, the folks in charge need to have to be replaced.
The 1st step is to understand that we are often lied to. Has your local paper ever explained to you why Sight Words may be a hoax? Have the media ever told you the complete extent of the resulting illiteracy?
Ideally, each and every citizen would spend a few minutes studying why Whole Word can not operate. Then they can be more involved in school reform and in resisting the ineptitude of our Education Establishment.
Chapter 1 in Flesch’s book is 21 pages extended. Every little thing you need to have to know is appropriate there. (Offered employed on Amazon for less than $ 1.)
For a one-web page explanation of what went incorrect, please Google my “42: Reading Resources.”
Then join the protest.
(AFTERWORD: The central dilemma is simple to comprehend. English is an alphabetic/phonetic language and young children need to have to learn the letters and their sounds. Nevertheless, our Education Establishment decided that kids did NOT want to bother with the alphabet and the sounds, but should alternatively memorize the graphic shapes of words. This is a monumentally goofy thought. Only people with a almost photographic memory have any likelihood of reading like this. The typical kid has problems memorizing even 500 sight-words, and is quite effectively destroyed as a student by the fourth grade. That is precisely what all these tests and statistics are telling us. Of course, progress in the classic subjects–History, Geography, Science, and so on. –is nearly impossible. Because of all these difficulties, parents should teach their youngsters to study early. Start off teaching the letters and the sounds about age 3. Google “54: Preemptive Reading” for recommendations.)
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